Speaker of Parliament Chimunthu Banda invoked Parliamentary Standing Orders to deny the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)’s move to stop Vice President Khumbo Kachali from addressing Parliament in Lilongwe on Monday.
“According to Standing Orders, the conduct of the Vice President (and the President cannot be questioned when the House is in session unless during impeachment proceedings. I am afraid, no impeachment proceedings are underway against the Vice President and the way I will guide this august House is to invite the Vice President to address us,” said the Speaker.
Standing on ‘a point of order’ after the Speaker had read out the day’s ‘Order Paper’, Leader of DPP in the House Dr. George Chaponda objected to the Vice President making his address, alleging he was involved in the ‘Cash-Gate’ scandal at Capital Hill.
While admitting the DPP were part of a Business Committee meeting on October 17, 2013 that formulated the ‘Order Paper’, Chaponda said there were “new revelations” that implicated the Vice President and hence their move to stop the VP from making his address.
But Leader of Government in the House, Henry Phoya said it was wrong for the DPP to derail parliamentary business of national importance because of “narrow partisan interests”. He called on the Speaker to rule Dr. Chaponda “out of order” and that they proceed according to the Order Paper.
The Vice President proceeded to present his Address at the 3rd Meeting of Parliament in the 44th Session.
In his address, Kachali said: “I am honoured, on behalf of Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda, the President of the Republic of Malawi, to stand in this august House and address you.
“As you might be aware, Mr. Speaker Sir, this sitting of Parliament should have taken place in November 2013. However, having looked at the urgency of the issues surrounding us, Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda saw it necessary that Parliament convenes earlier than it would normally have been the case”.
The VP said the Joyce Banda administration’s position in the fight against corruption remained steadfast and that a few month ago, the President had advised the former Finance Minister and other official to devise mechanisms to seal the loopholes in the porous Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).
“What the country has therefore witnessed in the recent weeks is not mere coincidence but results of the fiscal management measures taken by the government to safeguard public resources,” explained Kachali, adding that it is a well known fact that since Malawi attained her multiparty democracy some 19 years ago fraud and pilferage of government resources has been going on in this country.
In his speech, the Vice President announced reforms that Government will be implementing to concretely deal with theft of public resources.
They include the acceleration of the implementation of public finance and economic management reform programme; the enforcement of the Malawi Public Service Code of Conduct and Ethics; the tabling of the Assets Declaration Bill; and the review and amendment of the Corrupt Practices Act, including the establishment of anti-corruption court.
“Mr Speaker Sir, I would like to urge members of this august House, through the Public Accounts Committee, to play their rightful role in ensuring that public resources are protected from wanton abuse.
“Government on its part, Mr Speaker Sir, is committed to stopping theft and pilferage of public resources. It is the wish of Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda’s Government that public resources are used to finance service delivery that is responsive to the needs of the people of Malawi,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :